House, the new supernatural suspense novel from Frank Peretti and Ted Dekker, is a nonstop, all-out, adrenaline-laced, action-packed thrill ride. Dekker and Peretti have set out to provide a haunted-house story that might give horror fans pulse-pounding excitement while also pointing to a source of supernatural hope that is stronger than evil.

The Only Way
Out Is In

by Frank Peretti
Ted Dekker
Westbow Press
400 pp.; $25.99

There's just one small problem. House is all plot and no character. None of the main characters is even the least bit interesting or likable, and that robs the story of its tension. Will they live? Will they die? Who cares?

House is a surprising disappointment, given the considerable gifts of its authors. So where did this book go wrong? Peretti's and Dekker's writing styles clash. Peretti's tales are situation and character–driven thrillers that take place in a contained area. Dekker writes hyperkinetic, plot-driven action tales, usually on an epic scale.

But the page-ripping pace of House leaves no room for character development, so the characters and story seem thin and frayed. Meanwhile, the claustrophobic setting leaves no room for intense action, so that characters in the story seem to ricochet off the walls.

House may fray your nerves, but, unfortunately, it won't touch your soul.

Related Elsewhere:

House is available from and other book retailers.

The book's website has more information. Westbow press has a video sample.

Ted Dekker and Frank Peretti have more information about their books on their websites.

For book lovers, our 2006 CT book awards are available online, along with our book awards for 2005, 2004, 2003, 2002, 2001, 2000, 1999, 1998, and 1997, as well as our Books of the Twentieth Century. For other coverage or reviews, see our Books archive and the weekly Books & Culture Corner.

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